Electronic music

Beats by Beat: Strict Face – from the NLV label of Nina Las Vegas


By Sam Howard

The mix comes as Strict Face shares its latest release, “TasteFlash,” a thirsty percussion act with quirky drum patterns, synths and enough bass to fill a colosseum.

Strict Face, aka Jon, is an absolute expert at creating hard-hitting UK-inspired tracks that make you want to hit the sweaty dance floor. From FBi Radio to Boiler Room, Strict Face has been on both the streams and the airwaves for years and has established themselves worldwide with the tight-knit team of Nina Las Vegas’ NLV label.

His obsession with quirky beats and exploring rhythms goes far beyond the 4 × 4 models of traditional electronic music and makes his tunes truly entertaining.

We had the chance to tell Jon about his journey from the small town of Tarndanya, aka Adelaide, and his latest offering, TasteFlash – his release with its thick and characteristic bass levels with generous synth and snare touches. on top.

Get to know Melbourne’s top emerging DJs through our Beats by Beat series here.

The lockdowns in Adelaide thankfully differed from the rest of the country for Jon, with one getting even shorter than expected, not least due to the fact that “Pizza Man” threw the entire population of the state into their pockets. houses for giving false information about going into buying his fatty dinner.

He has a great appreciation for the supporting Adelaide scene, but believes there has always been a much greater love for the deep or minimal tech-house sound inspired by Europe or Berlin, rather than his love. for UK inspired grime and garage sounds. .

“I’ve always been in this side of music since I started to get into electronic music and it’s something I’ve invested a lot in,” he said.

“I got there thanks to artists like Aphex Twin and Artful Dodger as a kid – I’ve always found it fascinating to hear songs like those that sometimes creep into mainstream Australian audiences outside of Australia. regular pop music – and it always stuck in my head until I got to an age where I started to really explore the history of British dance music.

“I found Rinse and NTS and I was a pretty keen observer of where all this music was coming from. This was before I was legally allowed to go out and when I was old enough to go out there still wasn’t really a stage for the songs I wanted to hear.

Nina Las Vegas discovered her music in connection with UK producers who played it, and he said he was “pretty sure” she didn’t know he was from the small town of Adelaide.

Bringing music out is often a much bigger challenge than for producers with a range of platforms for a wide range of music in Melbourne and Sydney, where national and international music breeders and producers are looking for new talent.

The two met at an NLV Presents show when Nina was bringing artists from America and Europe, and after continuing to chat, she said she wanted to launch the label, get it on board and that he was quite ready to do it.

Of all the parties he’s been to, Strict Face has said that NLV’s birthday parties are some of the best, and he really enjoyed the process of watching the rest of the record label team flourish at big steps.

“The label has such a diverse team of artists and there really wasn’t anyone pushing this sound on such a large scale in Australia except Nina,” he continued.

“She really took the gamble and now you can see how Ninajirachi and Kota Banks have established themselves as great artists and the whole collective continues to grow. It’s so good to witness it.

“I didn’t think it was impossible, but given the time it took Australia to get used to the club music emerging from this sound, it was a pleasant surprise when people were there. are put on as quickly as when a lot of that music didn’t really hit the dance floors, ”he said.

The team never holds back at these parties, and Jon says it’s just plain fun. But of all the gigs he’s played so far, it’s no surprise that his Boiler Room gig is one of the best.

“That night was – for lack of a better word – interesting,” he said, reflecting on the pouring rain on the roof of Curtain House that cut his set when the power went out.

The night ended after perhaps a little too much drinks and ‘chitchat’ that caused him to open his eyes at the airport after a well-deserved nap and suddenly having to call his boss to tell him that he wasn’t going to get away with it. work on time (at 6 a.m.) because he missed his flight.

“Sorry boss, I can’t come to work today because I had a boiler room set last night,” we both joked.

Jon has put together his list of reputable platforms to play on, already mixing on several of his favorite mix series including NTS, Rinse, Triple J, and most recently Crack Magazine. If Jon had a dream platform to play on, he said Resident Advisor would be this one.

During confinement, he was not sure whether it was appropriate to create dancefloor music when the dance floors were simply not available. But instead of changing his sound to suit the confines atmosphere, he decided to reintroduce his unique, fast and heavy sound, and sent a demo tape to Nina.

She loved it, and over time it morphed into songs he wanted to play as soon as the d-floors opened, and the release came at the perfect time as the biggest cities came to their days. of dance freedom.

TasteFlash is the most recent release which gave us the pleasure of having Jon produce a super fun mix for the Beats by Beat series.

This mix is ​​dedicated to taking people to the dance floor with the intention of presenting “just some really fun music that people really want to dance to.” If you want it to hit hard, just spin a full glass, turn off the lights, sprinkle yourself a bit and let your legs wander, ”he said.

You can listen to the full mix and many more on our Soundcloud here.


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